AMD: Barcelona quad-core 50% faster than Intel's quad-core Xeon

Sunnyvale (CA) - Following last week’s sobering financial news, AMD today provided some news that may calm down worried analysts and investors.

There are lots of question marks surrounding AMD’s first quad-core CPU, the Barcelona server/workstation processor. How fast will it be and - most importantly - will it be able to outpace Intel’s quad-core Xeon 5300-series ("Clovertown") processors. It will, says AMD, and in fact upgraded its performance expectations.

So far, we the company had claimed that Barcelona will surpass the performance of Clovertown by about 40% at any given clock speed. Now the company says that it believes that Barcelona will have a 50% advantage over Clovertown in floating point applications and 20% in integer performance "over the competition’s highest-performing quad-core processor at the same frequency."

AMD did not release the specific clock speeds of Barcelona. Intel’s Clovertown currently tops out at 2.66 GHz, but the company has begun supplying limited numbers of 3.0 GHz server quad-core processors.

AMD also announced the new dual-core Opteron models 2222 SE and 8222 SE, which somewhat had been announced already at the beginning of this month : AMD claims that the new 3.0 GHz Opterons beat comparable Intel Xeon 5100 series processors in three server-specific benchmarks (SPECint_rate_2006, SPECint_rate2006, SPECompM2001) by up to 24%.

The 2222 SE is available for a tray price of $873, the 8222 SE is priced at $2149. Intel’s 3.0 GHz Xeon 5160 processor currently sells for $851.

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